In medicine, the AC joint is a term for the Acromio-clavicular joint. It is the joint that is formed between the clavicle and the acromion. If you touch yourself on the top of the shoulder, you can feel a bony bump approximately about 4 centimeters away from the shoulder edge. It represents a link between the arm and the trunk. Its main function is to enable rising of the arm above the head and enables pushing, pulling, and punching with the arm. Our main subject in this article will be an AC joint injury and its treatment. People who have suffered from an injury to the AC joint have great problems, and they surely underwent some medical treatment.
An AC joint injury usually occurs as sports injury. The main reason for this injury is a fall on the shoulder, a direct fall on the arm, or a tackle. The first thing that happens with the ligaments in this case is stretching and then tearing. It results with a great pain, loss of regular movements of the shoulder and later swelling of the shoulder. When you find yourself in a situation like this, go to the nearest hospital, and ask for medical treatment. If the injury is not very severe, patients can recover very quickly, but it usually takes longer period to heal and recover. However, do not be afraid, because medicine, especially orthopedic surgery is highly developed and with great success.
Types of Injuries
All of the injuries can be classified in six categories. The first category of injury is actually a small displacement of the joint, and is the most common injury in medicine. The second category covers a partial dislocation of the joint and can be seen only by examination. Here, the acromio-clavicuar ligament is completely torn. The third type of injury is a complete separation of the shoulder joint, and here the acromio-clavicular and coraco-clavicular ligaments are completely torn and the total displacement is recognized during a medical exam. With this injury, the shoulder looks like fallen and below the normal level. All of these grades are the most common injuries and can be treated relatively easy, but the following three categories are considered more severe, and usually come as result of accidents.
Treatment depends on the category the injury belongs in. It may be treated at home, or in a medical facility. After you suspected that your shoulder is injured somehow, you may begin with some home treatments like rest, placing ice on your shoulder, compression of the shoulder, using some medications to prevent inflammation, some exercises that involve moving the arm to the pain range. If the pain continues, then it is time to look for professional help from a qualified medical expert, perhaps a physical therapist, or an orthopedic doctor.